• By Kanaga Rajan
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology

    Takeda Pharmaceuticals has reached an agreement to purchase Dublin-based Shire and its dry eye drug, lifitegrast (Xiidra).

    Assuming it wins the backing of shareholders, the acquisition will propel Takeda amongst the top 10 drugmakers globally.

    The deal, however, is costly and will leave Takeda in serious debt. Shire, whose market value currently exceeds Takeda’s, had previously rejected all 4 of Takeda’s earlier offers due to concerns the Japanese company would pay for most of the acquisition in stock. The current bid for Shire is approximately 46% cash and 54% stock.

    To proceed, the deal will need the approval of three-quarters of Shire’s and two-thirds of Takeda’s shareholders. Takeda hopes to eventually consolidate Shire into Takeda’s Boston, Switzerland and Singapore operations while retaining their own headquarters in Japan.

    The acquisition, anticipated to close by early 2019, will add an array of orphan drugs to Takeda’s portfolio as well as lifitegrast. Since launching in 2016, sales of the dry eye drug have shown strong growth, raking in $38.6 million in its first 6 months and acquiring 22% of the U.S. market share in the process.